Cyberattack Cripples the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce

The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) was forced to shut down all digital services and communication systems after a severe cyberattack. The attackers have not been identified, but circumstances suggest that this was a ransomware attack.

The number of cyberattacks globally has dramatically increased since Russia invaded Ukraine, causing disruptions everywhere. Germany is just the latest victim in a long line of data breaches and hacks.

Attack Closes Down Critical Services for Numerous Companies

On August 4th, the DIHK blocked all online connections to prevent damage and loss of data after the massive attack. The organization stated that telephone and email communication is not possible at this time for security reasons.

The DIHK is a large organization with more than 3 million members. It represents corporations, companies, small businesses, and stores in Germany, providing them with support services and advocating for their interests. An attack on its IT infrastructure is an attack on the entire German economy.

Michael Bergmann, the chief executive of the DIHK, took to LinkedIn to confirm the attack and the security measures taken. In his post, he said: “Unfortunately, a serious IT security incident occurred yesterday. The DIHK organization was subjected to a massive cyber attack. As a security measure, all Internet connections were blocked immediately… digital services are currently not available.”

A LinkedIn post from Michael Bergmann, DIHK Chief Executive, detailing the cyberattack and the security measures taken.
Michael Bergmann, the DIHK Chief Executive, confirms the attack on the organization in a LinkedIn post.

The organization’s IT department is working on reactivating its online services one at a time to minimize the risk of another attack.

Massive Attacks on IT Infrastructure Are on the Rise

Since the start of 2022, hacker groups and state-sponsored threat actors have been intensifying their attacks on Western countries. In February, hackers disrupted the operation of fuel and oil distributors Oiltanking GmbH Group and Mabanaft GmbH in Germany. In March, North Korean hackers started targeting journalists with malware. 

In a recent report, Microsoft warned that the Russians have dramatically increased their number of cyberattacks against Ukraine and its allied governments. Government agencies, corporations, and small businesses are frequent targets. In the same report, Microsoft identifies over 100 organizations in more than 40 countries that have fallen victims to cybercrime.

Tom Burt, Microsoft’s Vice President of Customer Security, said in a related post:

“Russian nation-state threat actors may be tasked to expand their destructive actions outside of Ukraine to retaliate against those countries that decide to provide more military assistance to Ukraine and take more punitive measures against the Russian government in response to the continued aggression.”

Are we entering a new age of cyber warfare? It definitely looks like it. Hackers have become a lot more than script geeks throwing out DDoS attacks. Entire governments are backing hacker groups with the purpose of distabilizing communication infrastructures and critical online services. Everyone is at risk of a cyber attack, you included.  

Secure Your System and Protect Your Data

Cybercriminals target the vulnerable. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Google or you as long as they find a weak point to exploit. But what chances do you have against a hacker group when even government organizations and huge tech companies get hacked? 

Contrary to popular belief, it’s easier to secure and protect a single system than massive infrastructures with thousands of potential vulnerabilities. A single email is enough to spread malware throughout the network.

A VPN can help you mask your digital traces. Get CyberGhost VPN to connect to one of 8000+ servers worldwide to hide your IP and encrypt your data with military-grade safety locks. You can also secure up to 7 devices simultaneously and connect to open Wi-Fi networks without fear.

Once you’re connected to a VPN, install a reliable security suite. The CyberGhost Windows Security Suite will actively protect your system from intruders. Close any potential backdoors and slam the front door shut!

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